TD Ameritrade Trading Down, Sentiment Shifts: CEO

NY Stock Exchange Traders
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NY Stock Exchange Traders

TD Ameritrade client trades were down 22 percent in May from a year ago, a sign investor sentiment is changing, Chief Executive Fredric Tomcyzk told CNBC Thursday.

Client trades averaged 378,000 a day in May, down 22 percent from May 2010 and down 6 percent from April 2011, he said.

"Sentiment in the market has changed quite a bit in the last month," he said. "Four or five weeks ago people were pretty bullish. I think sentiment has turned."

He said the biggest slowdown was at month's end. However, he acknowledged there is usually a slowdown in trading around Memorial Day weekend, so he couldn't say if that was a factor in the results.

The brokerage company had a 26 percent increase in total client assets to approximately $420 billion from May 2010, although that was down 1 percent from April 2011. Average fee-based balances were $82.5 billion, up 33 percent from May 2010 and up 1 percent from April 2011.

Despite the decrease in trades overall Tomcyzk said there was an increase in derivatives trading.

"We’ve been doing very well in expanding our derivatives business," he said. "You go back three years ago our derivatives business was 9 percent or 10 percent of our volume. Today it’s over 30 percent of our trading volume."